The year 2020 sucked for various reasons, but there was a silver lining for me; at least that was when I met my boyfriend. Who knew it would take a global pandemic for me to be able to meet someone I would want to enter a relationship with.
We met on Bumble in May and talked/texted every day; we really got to know each other. I'm not talking about the basics of getting to know you questions of "what do you study" or "how many siblings do you have," though we did ask those. We were able to ask more personal questions about each other's lives, questions that most new couples would not discuss until late in the relationship. Still, as we were talking at the beginning of the lockdown; aside from binge watching everything on Netflix, there wasn't much else to do but talk. The constant communication and in-depth topics allowed us to focus on how we felt about each other, and if we were willing to take the next big next step in our relationship ……… meeting in person! Now, usually, this would not be such a big step in a relationship, but we met during a global pandemic, a time where the world was telling us to stay inside and talking and meeting strangers was a big no because we would not only be putting ourselves at risk but anyone who we currently lived with as well. As someone who has been told by their younger sibling that they are a goodie two shoes, I've never felt more of a badass than pulling up to our first date. Truth be told, I had many therapy sessions about the decision to see him, partly for personal fears that I am trying to overcome about the topic of intimacy, but also for health risk fears that the world is currently facing.
These frustrations can make me feel isolated; I am continuously telling people that while I am glad I met him, I would never recommend dating during this dark time. Thankfully, I have a great support system comprising friends and family, and sorority sisters whom I talk to about how I am feeling. I even have a therapist, but the covid blues and the feeling of FOMO still affect me. Another obstacle I face is my boyfriend's view on the pandemic. I differ a lot with him not taking it as seriously as I; this tends to lead to a feeling of banging your head against the wall or just shouting into the void. We have lengthy conversations about it. I sometimes feel as if I am the bad guy denying romance and intimacy in our relationship.
A majority aspect of the way I have been feeling is the unfairness that I see mostly through social media. This guired is towards the couples I know or the ones on my newsfeed that are also in a relationship and have been with their partners for years yet do not live in the same household. I am aware that they have been with their partner longer. Still, at the same time, it is not like the illness doesn't affect you the same way, stating that the only travel you do is between the houses of you and your partner is still travel and there is always a risk of putting the others in the house in potential harm’s way. The circle of risk gets even more prominent if parents who they live with have jobs in an essential field. I understand that for some, their partners are their only source to help with the mental health issues we are all dealing with during this pandemic, but it is something we are all dealing with. In my opinion, if the government is changing the laws, then you and your partner should find a way to adapt to the new guidelines as well. Whether that means only seeing each other once a week, getting covid tests more frequently, especially if one of your routines changes, or just limiting physical contact and increasing communication. We live in an era where communication isn't as hard as it once was; you can have more phone calls and Facetimes; hell, you can even bring back the good old fashion snail mail.
I am in no way trying to shame anyone. However, when my relationship feels as though I am stuck on a roller coaster with an ever-evolving track, the last thing I want to hear from my loved ones in relationships is that they are ignoring the rules or feel as if the time they have put into their relationship earns them the right to break health and government guidelines. It also makes me want to talk less about my relationship with them due to feelings of anger, jealousy, and envy arising. I never want to develop ill feelings towards the ones I love. Relationships are already hard work; why make it more challenging with having to either compare yours to others or having to bear witness to the things you are not able to do because you are actually following the rules, no matter how constantly they are changing or how confusing they can seem.
This article is not to be an attack on people in the situations that I am frustrated about. I am a part of an organization that allows me to exercise my thoughts/feelings and frustration on an open platform. I know that not venting frustrations could lead to a more dangerous outcome such as self-isolation or anger. I wanted to write this piece to express myself to my friends who will perhaps read this, so they understand what I am continually feeling and for anyone who shares my thoughts or is in a similar position.